2013 has seen EDM rise to new heights, and with the mainstream push, one thing you automatically see is the growth of underground styles. Chicago's footwork scene is one of those. Footwork grew out of the ghetto house and juke movements, which finds the 160-ish BPM dance craze peppered with repetitive samples, complex rhythms, and a hip-hop sensibility for building tracks. While the crowds have fallen in love with DJs like Rashad (who was recently featured on Grand Theft Auto V's FlyLo FM) and Spinn, one of the pioneers of the sound, Traxman, has released a stunning, 21-track opus TEKLIVE Vol. 3: The Architek.
One thing that immediately hits you when listening to this project is Traxman's love of sampling. You'll recognize a number of the sources, but even if you don't, the way he builds tracks by manipulating these found sounds is as hypnotic as it is inspiring. Sampling can be a lost art in the hip-hop scene these days, and hearing someone excel at it in a genre that's foreign to the ears of many? It's priceless. Hailing from the West Side of Chicago, Traxman's high-energy juke and footwork soundscapes are a perfect showcase of not only what the scene is capable of, but how to properly blend these sounds into a vibe that isn't the norm, but makes you feel right at home. —khal